How to use AI in your brand photography business

Business Advice

So I know that AI is a hot topic in so many industries right now, and I know it’s causing some grumbles with people worrying that it’s going to take over and ruin business.  But I honestly think it’s an opportunity, one that I am going to be learning a lot more about and seeing how I can use it to support my business and therefore support my clients.  In fact, today I will be starting an 8 week course with the fabulous Chantelle and Tom who are both friends and clients of mine who have been delving into the world of AI for far longer and much more detail than me.


But for now, as it’s timely and something I’ve been talking to other photographers about, I thought I would share how I am using AI within my brand photography business, where I see a growth and even opportunity to make some of my services more accessible to clients…


So first of all, how have I been using AI in my business so far?


Retouching or localised editing of photos and to be honest, photographers who have been editing and manipulating digital images have been using AI for a while now with things like the eraser brush in photoshop – it’s been taking an educated guess at what should be in that area for years.  Now though you can very quickly replace or create new things within an image.  


And this was an absolute miracle worker on a shoot where we needed to use the pool for some images only to be told we weren’t allowed to pull the pool cover back.  But did that stop me from creating an image my client loved…. No!  I had been playing with PhotoshopAI for a few weeks since using it to remove people from New York hotspots, so I knew I’d be able to figure something out.  And you can see from this image, I’ve added in pool water, removed the patio furniture in the background and added more volume to her skirt (it’s also a rare occasion you’ll see me share a RAW file on the internet!)…


An example of using AI in your brand photography business, photoshopAI has removed the furniture in the background, added volume to the skirt and added pool water to the pool. Images by AKP Branding Stories


Content creation – this is mainly using the magic tool in canva to give me inspiration for blog post topics but I know a lot of people use ChatGPT for the same, I’ve just yet to learn how to use it to it’s advantage – but I know that it’s something I’ll learn more about with Chantelle and Tom.   


Not so much AI (I don’t think) but did you know that in Canva you can bulk create posts?  So for instance all the testimonial squares you see on my grid were bulk created from a spreadsheet of testimonials I have (gathered via a Dubsado form I send to my clients after their shoot to feature on my website which also then helps us both from an SEO perspective).


And so how are the other ways that you can use AI in your brand photography business?  


  • Culling – I’m not sure really that I can hand this one over, when I’m culling photos it’s not just based on which is the most technically spot on image, but the ones that I think my client will love about themselves. So if they’ve told me things that they aren’t so keen on about themselves, I’ll make sure any images that may exaggerate those feelings don’t make the final cut.  And without AI knowing my client, will they know to cull those images?  
  • Editing – now this is something I am exploring more into. I currently use an editing company and for a variety of reasons when our contract is up in February I won’t be renewing.  But I’ve been hearing lots of great things about ImagenAI and so it’s something I’m exploring and playing with as the first round of editing of lighting/colour balance etc.  I’ll still ALWAYS do the final quality check to make sure there is consistency and final tweaks, it’s my signature style after all! 
  • Image creation – now I think this is the one that causes the most feathers to ruffle – will AI replace photographers.  In short, I don’t think so.  I’ve seen some pretty freaky looking examples of it and I’m going to have a play with some of the software so watch this space as I’ll share the results.  But what I do wonder is whether there is scope for me to use images that I have taken for clients to create digital marketing assets for them, something that could take me days in photoshop but may be a quicker process with the support of AI.  So again, watch this space as I’ll share my results.


So a question to you, is AI something that you’re embracing in your photography business or running to the hills from?  I heard on a podcast a couple of months ago (although now for the life of me can’t remember which one) that for photographers, the introduction of AI could be the next big shift in the industry since the move from film to digital.  What do you think?

October 9, 2023